November 23, 2016

Blog

Tips to Simplify Your Thanksgiving Spread

November 14th 2017

With just days to go before Thanksgiving, the clock is ticking down to some of the most memorable meals of the year. However, for many of us, the pressure of preparing a perfect Thanksgiving feast can be overwhelming. If this is true for you, consider these tips to simplify your seasonal spread.

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Plan Now and Take Advantage of 2017 Tax Savings

November 1st 2017

The end of the year is often hectic, which is why it’s important to take some time now to reduce your tax bill. Our firm can offer additional strategies to further mitigate your tax burden; however, the following 5 tips are an excellent starting point:

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Simplify Seasonal Staffing with these Smart Strategies

October 16th 2017

Whether your business needs temporary workers to get through the holiday season or you hire short-term help on a regular basis, the process of finding the right candidates can be challenging. Try applying these strategies to make seasonal staffing easier:

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5 Tips to Reset Your Stress Response

October 2nd 2017

Because stress related to work, family issues and other events is something that affects many of us, it’s important to reset your own stress response to protect your health and productivity. Sharon Melnick, Ph.D., a business psychologist, offers these tips:

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Proposed Tax Reform Plan: What Could It Mean for You?

September 29th 2017

Tax reform, one of President Trump’s key legislative agenda items, is moving closer to fruition. Based on the outline of his proposed tax reform package, which he unveiled on September 27, 2017, we’ve compiled this brief overview of the President’s major tax proposals:

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Impacted by the Equifax Hack? Take These Steps Now!

September 14th 2017

If you were a victim of the recently announced Equifax hack, you need to take action to mitigate any negative impact it may have on your finances and credit. If you’re not sure if you were affected, you can use Equifax’s Potential Impact tool to find out. You will need to input your last name and the last six digits of your social security number to use this tool.

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Tips for Maximizing the Value of Your Next Staff Retreat

August 30th 2017

Staff retreats can offer companies a lot of value. They can also be expensive and, unless managed effectively, not particularly productive. Before you plan your next (or first) staff retreat, review the following key factors to help you make the most of...

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Free Money-Saving Apps for Every College Student

August 15th 2017

There likely aren’t many college students who don’t have a smart phone loaded with helpful apps. However, it is unlikely that any of these apps are dedicated to helping them build their financial fortitude. This is why we created our list below—chock-full of apps designed to make it easier for college students of any age to save money.

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Expert Advice to Keep Your Internet-Enabled Devices Safe from Cyber Criminals

August 1st 2017

Did you know that your webcam and even your home or office internet router can be the gateway through which cyber criminals gain access to your most sensitive data? If not, don’t panic—we have helpful tips below from the experts at the National Cyber Security Alliance to ensure that you head off this type of malicious action.

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Be Alert and Aware: Tax Scammers Don’t Take a Summer Vacation

July 13th 2017

The IRS has identified several new variations of standard tax scams involving fake tax bills and demands for payments. Many of these scams involve purchasing and transferring information using a gift card or iTunes card. Other scams to be aware of include:

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Tips for Implementing a Successful Flex-time Schedule this Summer

June 29th 2017

Now that summer/vacation season is here, your business may be enjoying a more relaxed vibe with employees taking time off or leaving early. If you’ve ever thought about implementing a flexible work program, now may be the time to pilot one, especially if your business is a bit slower this time of year. To help, we offer the following tips...

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Four Money-Saving Mid-Year Financial Planning Tips

June 15th 2017

It’s almost exactly the mid-point of the year, which makes it prime time for a mid-year financial review. If you need some monetary motivation for evaluating your financial progress so far this year, you may want to think of mid-year planning as a series of potential money-saving opportunities, for example:

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How to Protect Your Business from the Next “Wanna Cry” Attack

June 1st 2017

The recent “Wanna Cry” ransomware attack that paralyzed several large organizations in the U.S. and Europe is a solemn reminder that the risk of cyber security breaches is real. Every business owner should take steps...

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Tips to Help You Stem the Flow of Potential Risks This Flood Season

May 16th 2017

Whether from heavy rains or hurricanes, this time of year can bring with it the risk of floods across many parts of the United States. While you may not be able to predict the likelihood of a flood in your area, with these tips you can help to mitigate physical and financial damage if a flood occurs where you live. Treat structural damage seriously. In any...

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How to Really “Clean Up” at Your Next Yard Sale

May 4th 2017

This time of year is when you often see yard sale signs popping up. For some, holding a yard sale is a means of clearing out unwanted items. For others, it’s an opportunity to get some great “finds.” Whichever side of the yard sale fence you’re on, these tips can help you “clean up”: Choose your timing carefully. Research continues...

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Take Your Spring Cleaning to the Office with These Tips

April 19th 2017

Window washing, carpet cleaning, garden grooming—these are all popular spring cleaning chores for homeowners. However, with year-end and tax season behind you, this time of year is also perfect for spring cleaning at the office. These tips will help you and your staff get—and keep—that “just cleaned my office” feeling: Start with a clean sweep of...

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These Tax Day Treats Shine Light at the End of the “Tax Season Tunnel”

April 3rd 2017

With just a few weeks to go until Tax Day on April 18, it’s time to make sure that you’re on track to get your individual return filed. If you haven’t already engaged our firm to help you with your taxes and you need assistance, don’t delay…it’s time to let us know! While tax season can be stressful, Tax Day itself can be quite rewarding if you...

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Do You Sit All Day? Take a Stand Against a Sedentary Lifestyle

March 20th 2017

The average American sits a lot. Many of us sit while we work, while we relax and while we learn. Over the long term, this sedentary way of life can have a negative impact on our health, increasing the risk of diabetes, heart disease and cancer—in addition to shortening life spans. To counteract these negative effects, it’s important to get up, get active and get...

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Set the Stage to Help Your Home Sell This Spring

March 1st 2017

Spring is in the air...which means peak home-selling season isn’t far away. In fact, according to recent market data, 60 percent of all home sales in the United States will occur in the spring and summer months. If you’re thinking about putting your home on the market, now is the time to get prepared—which includes considering how you will “stage” your home to...

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Avoid March Madness—Why You Should File Your Taxes Now

February 17th 2017

For sports fans, this time of year is an exciting one. First the Super Bowl, and then the buildup toward the NCAA March Madness tournament. While tax season isn’t quite as exciting as these events, you’ll still want to make the effort to get ahead of the game—and the April 18 deadline—to score the benefits of early filing. Avoiding identity...

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Small Businesses Can Restart Health Reimbursement Accounts in 2017

February 1st 2017

Although the fate of the Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) is not yet clear, thanks to the passing of the 21st Century Cures Act at the end of 2016, employers with fewer than 50 employees can now start funding stand-alone health reimbursement accounts (HRAs) again. Employees can use HRAs to pay for medical expenses, including health insurance coverage on the Obamacare health insurance...

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Tips to Defend Your Business from Cyber Attacks

January 17th 2017

You need only tune into the news to see that cybercrimes are a very real threat. From viruses to malware, everyday computer use and online browsing can leave you vulnerable to hackers who want your valuable information. If you have a small business, your risk of a cyberattack is likely even higher, especially if you do not have the resources or know-how to enact effective security policies....

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Break Barriers in 2017 with These Mind-Changing Mini Resolutions

December 28th 2016

There’s a reason why the regular New Year’s resolutions like losing weight, exercising more and sticking to a budget are popular—so many of us need to do them! There’s also a common reason why so many of us fail to meet our goals in these areas: we haven’t developed the mindset to support the changes that we want to make. Instead of setting a big,...

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Keep the Holidays Merry with These Simple Stress Relievers

December 14th 2016

The holiday season can be wonderful, but they can also be one of the most stressful times of the year. Fortunately, the experts at Psychology Today also offer these simple stress relievers to put the joy back in this special time of year: Take a time-out. Time-outs aren’t just for toddlers who have a tantrum. In fact, rather than being a...

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Obama’s New Overtime Pay Rule is On Pause—What Does it Mean for Your Business?

November 30th 2016

Just days before it was scheduled to be implemented on December 1, a federal judge in Texas has blocked the implementation of the new Department of Labor (DOL) federal overtime rule, which would have doubled the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA’s) salary threshold for exemption from overtime pay. According to an NPR report, this extension of overtime eligibility would have...

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Take Note of New Business Tax Deadlines in 2017

November 15th 2016

As a result of the highway funding extension bill signed into law by President Obama in 2015, there are important changes coming in 2017 to deadlines for business tax filings including: W-2 and 1099 filings are due January 31 in 2017 instead of March 31. These forms are still due employees and contractors by January 31, so it’s important to prepare and...

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Five Key Areas Every Business Owner Should Review Before Year End

November 1st 2016

We’re well in to the fourth quarter of the year, which means year end is fast approaching. Here are five important areas of your business to review before the calendar turns to 2017. Tax planning opportunities. November and December are prime time for tax planning, which can pay big dividends when filing time arrives. Touch base with our firm now to...

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Start Holiday Gift Giving for the Kids with an IRA Contribution

October 17th 2016

If you’re like many parents and grandparents, you may already be thinking about what kind of gift to get the children on your list this holiday season. For teens and young adults especially, it can be challenging to come up with truly unique and meaningful gifts. One idea with long-lasting impact is to make a contribution to either a traditional or Roth IRA on your children or...

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Don’t Let Year-End Cost-Cutting Derail Your Business Goals

October 3rd 2016

Many businesses need to adjust their spending to meet the reality of their cash flow during the last few months of the year. While it can be tempting to just cut expenses across the board, this strategy may actually backfire if you cut in the wrong places. Here are four budget areas you should try to preserve to avoiding derailing your long-term business goals: 1....

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Wondering About Tax Deductions for Political Contributions? Here’s the Lowdown

September 19th 2016

With election season in full swing, you may be wondering, “Are political contributions tax deductible?” Here’s the lowdown: Whether it’s your county mayor or the future President of the United States, the rules on taking advantage of tax deductions for political contributions are the same: Donations are deductible if the organization you give to is a 501(c)(3)...

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Take Note! The Filing Deadline for W-2s and 1099s is January 31 in 2017

September 1st 2016

Consider this blog post as early notice that the date by which employers must file their W-2s and 1099s with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and IRS will change to January 31 in 2017. Previously, W-2s and 1099s were not due to governmental agencies until March 31, so this new deadline will significantly reduce the window for making any necessary changes. These forms are still...

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The World is Chipping Away at Credit Card Fraud—But Individual Vigilance is Still Key

August 16th 2016

EMV chip technology, which is the first major upgrade for credit card fraud protection in many years, is slowly being rolled out by merchants around the world, including in the United States. While this technology has the potential to provide better security for your credit card data, it still has its limits and it is not completely hacker-proof or secure. As such it is still important to be...

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Before the First School Bell Rings, It’s Time to Reset the Alarm Clock

August 2nd 2016

It’s August and children and parents everywhere are facing a grim reality: back to school season is just around the corner. At this time of year, many parents struggle to get their kids back into a regular sleep routine. To help, we offer these tips to reset your family’s alarm clock before the first school bell rings: Start tonight. While child...

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Getting Married this Year? Here’s Your Tax Tip Sheet

July 18th 2016

While most couples go to great lengths to ensure that their wedding day is perfect, far fewer think about how their nuptials will impact their tax liability. The truth is, the moment you get married, no matter what time of the year it is, in the eyes of the government you are considered to have been married for the entire tax year. With this in mind, here are some tax tips to consider as you...

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Key Lessons from the Financial Fallout of the ‘Brexit’ Vote

July 5th 2016

It’s fair to say that the recent ‘Brexit’ vote by Britons to exit the European Union (EU) has shaken global financial markets to their core, at least in the short-term. Financial analysts say that it’s too early to tell what the long-term impact of this historic vote will be. But one thing is for certain, the Brexit offers several important lessons that individual...

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Smart Strategies to Handle the “Downfall” Problem 1 in 4 New Businesses Experience

June 21st 2016

One of the most (if not the most) important indicators of business health is its cash flow. Even if your business is profitable and growing, if you don't have a consistent stream of cash coming in, you'll run into financial trouble. Lack of cash flow is the primary reason that more than one quarter of new businesses fail—29 percent to be exact. Here are some smart strategies...

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IRS Fights Scammers – Instructs Staff to Initiate All Future Audits by Mail; Never by Telephone

June 10th 2016

With a rise in IRS phone scams, the Agency changed its policy on contacting taxpayers whose tax records are subject to an audit. The new policy instructs IRS agents to contact affected taxpayers only by mail—never by phone (which used to be the IRS’ go-to method of contact). As such, we urge all of our clients to adhere to the following guidelines should...

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No Time to Garden? Try These Time-Saving Tips

June 1st 2016

While many of us appreciate the glory of a beautiful garden, there’s no denying that having one is a time-consuming endeavor. That’s why we’ve compiled these tips to help you make the most of your yard in less time: 1. Start with a plan. A well-thought-out plan for your garden that utilizes low-maintenance plants and flowers will save you time...

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Overtime Pay Eligibility Expanded – What Businesses Need to Know

May 20th 2016

President Obama, declaring that “Americans have spent too long working more and getting less in return,” ordered the Labor Department to revise federal rules on overtime pay for salaried workers that log more than 40 hours a week. The long-awaited rule change will extend overtime pay to an estimated 4.2M workers. Under current federal regulations, only salaried employees...

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Sleep on This! Think Quality Not Quantity When It Comes to Shut-Eye

May 16th 2016

We’ve likely all heard the news—Americans are incredibly sleep-deprived. However, according to recent research, achieving better quality sleep may be more important than actually increasing the number of hours of sleep. In fact, experts report that 6 hours of deep refreshing sleep is more beneficial than 8 hours of light interrupted sleep. May is Better Sleep...

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Be $1,000 Richer by Next Year with These Simple Savings Strategies

May 2nd 2016

Wow! May is already here—and if you’re like many Americans your savings account balance is still stuck where it was at the beginning of the year. So what to do? You can’t make up for lost savings opportunities…or can you? We believe that you can with a little bit of discipline. For example, saving $125 a month can be as easy as: Renegotiating your...

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5 Actions to Reduce Cyber Liability Risks in Your Business Today

April 14th 2016

A quick glance at the news is all it takes to realize that the threat of cyber attacks is increasing for businesses. So how can your business beat the odds and avoid becoming another victim of cybercrime? Try putting the following five action items at the top of your priority list: Encrypt your data. Whether it's bank routing digits, credit card accounts or...

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Final Check – Did You Claim Every Eligible Tax Deduction?

March 31st 2016

Every year, American taxpayers leave millions of dollars on the table for Uncle Sam—in the form of unclaimed tax deductions. With Tax Day just around the corner, it’s time to do one final check to make sure that you are not missing out on three of the most common deductions: Retirement contribution deductions for single-income couples and the...

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Five Snacks to Spring Clean your Body and Mind

March 15th 2016

Spring is here and the season for new beginnings. This is a good time to re-think "spring cleaning" and choose snacks that can cleanse our bodies from the inside out. These five snacks are guaranteed to feed your mind, detoxify your body, and satisfy your palate! 1. Guacamole - High in fiber and “fat” but don’t worry, it’s good fat!...

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Our New Website!

December 14th 2015

Holste & Bowers LLC is excited to announce the recent launch of our firm’s new website. We’ve been working very hard to enhance our website and give our firm a fresh look. We’ve also continued to research and identify the latest and greatest technologies to improve the services we provide and ensure we continue to meet your needs. Take a moment to look...

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